A few days ago I got on a few of the various job seeking websites to see what jobs I would be able to apply to with my particular skill set. I saw nothing that impressed me. Nothing that even remotely seemed like something that I wanted to do. I feel completely turned off at the idea of working for someone else or a corporation again.
In 2001, I was 17 and had just finished High School, I was working at Wherehouse Music about 30 hours a week $6.25/hr. In 2002 I was promoted to an assistant manager position at the now defunct Hollywood location on Sunset. I made $9.00/hr and I thought I was the shit. I was envisioning a future in retail working my way up from assistant manager to store manager to district manager to regional manager. I had a plan! I knew that my manager in her position as a store manager made 45K. While she used to always that her salary wasn’t much, she had 3 kids and a non working husband and I was single with no kids.
I loved my job, I worked in a beautiful 2 story music store in the heart of Hollywood, and being an assistant manager at such a young age felt like an accomplishment. I had all the newest cd’s, music magazines, dvd’s and I would always meet a cute guy at work or meet someone that could get me on party guest lists and other perks. It was an exciting time in my life and that is perhaps why I didn’t realize that my job was in trouble for a long time until I noticed that the least productive employees were being reduced to basically nonexistent hours and our district manager was visiting the store weekly to come up with new marketing ideas. The music industry had been in decline since 98 when peer to peer sharing sites were being introduced online. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on a cd, you could download it for free. Remember Kazaa and Napster? Remember when iPods were first introduced? The peer to peer sites were a match made in heaven for iPods. However, the record industry did not adapt well and created a PR disaster for themselves further alienating consumers. The ramifications shook up the entire economy of major entertainment retailers. Retail chains like Wherehouse Music, Tower Records, Camelot Music, Sam Goody, Fye all eventually crumbled right in front of our eyes in the matter of a few years.
Jen was one of the girls who worked in shipping and receiving and she had been with the company for 7 years. She had never taken a vacation nor had she used any of her sick days.When she was let go because the store was closing and there would be no more shipments to process she was ok with her dismissal because she had a nice chunk of change coming. She was politely informed that since the company was going thru Chapter 13 bankruptcy they were not obligated to pay her for the value of her vacation and sick time. That was my first introduction to the reality that corporations and jobs do not care about you and you will be the only one ultimately that pays for someone elses foolish decision. The top-level executives walked away with millions leaving their former employees to pick up the pieces of a shattered dream. I still think about Jen. I still remember how she couldn’t believe that a company she had dedicated her life to had dismissed her so easily and without the earnings she was due. I ultimately was dismissed as well, the only difference with me was that I was smart enough to use my vacations so I didn’t get yanked for my money.
In 2007 I managed to find a job before the economy crashed, I’ve been here ever since. I watched friends and family lose their jobs, cars and homes. I’ve watched people who dedicated 20+ years to their job suddenly lose everything with a quick signature by some person who didn’t care rather you lost everything that you had worked for. Employees salaries were cut in half, permanent staff was replaced with temp staff, benefits were cut and misery permeated the air. Having a job no matter what it paid became the new status, the working class rose in the ranks. On dates, men would ask if you had a job and you gained more favor in his eyes if you were employed. I survived it miraculously with the edition of pay-day loans. I lived literally pay check to pay check. I would come in Friday needing to cash my check before I bought lunch. That is certainly no way to live. After getting 2 raises, well 3 if you count my commission percentage increase in the course of 8 years I realize that I will never be free because being a modern employee is the equivalent to being a slave.
Corporations don’t like you. The executive editor of a major news publication took me out to lunch to get advice on how to expand their website traffic. But before I could talk he started complaining to me: “our top writers keep putting their twitter names in their posts and then when they get more followers they start asking for raises.” “What’s the problem?” I said. “Don’t you want writers that are popular and well-respected?” When I say a “major news publication” I am talking MAJOR. He said, “no, we want to be about the news. We don’t want anyone to be an individual star.” In other words, his main job was to destroy the career aspirations of his most talented people, the people who swore their loyalty to him, the people who worked 90 hours a week for him. If they only worked 30 hours a week and were slightly more mediocre he would’ve been happy. But he doesn’t like you. He wants to you stay in the hole and he will throw you a meal every once in awhile in exchange for your excrement. If anyone is a reporter out there and wants to message me privately I will tell you who it was. But basically, it’s all of your bosses. Every single one of them.
Ten reasons you have to quit your job. James Altucher.
Check out this well written and frankly honest piece from Entrepreneur.com listing 10 reasons to quit your job. (Click Here)